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An Award-Winning Fishball Project
Way back in February marine biologists at Kampachi Farms in Hawaii announced they had successfully completed the final harvest from the "Velella" Research Project. Velella is the name of a genus of small drifting pelagic hydrozoan or the fancy words for creatures related to jellyfish that drift on the surface of the water.
I don’t know how I managed to miss the news from the farm but from the looks of it I was busy making giant penguins Google fight fat Ice Age coyotes in an effort to illustrate how much time I have on my hands.
A friend brought Kampachi Farms to my attention because he was slightly creeped out by what he called the “fishball.” The fishball was the Velella project: an unanchored brass-nettted pen known as the Aquapod, roundish in shape and 132 cubic meters in volume. Sashimi-grade kampachi fish were raised in it as it drifted along in the open ocean 3 to 75 miles offshore of the Big Island. The pen was submersible in waters of up to 12,000 feet deep and towed by a manned sailing vessel. The Aquapod was developed by Ocean Farm Technologies in Maine.
"This final harvest far surpassed our expectations," said Neil Anthony Sims, Co-CEO of Kampachi Farms. "The fish thrived in the research net pen far from shore, with phenomenal growth rates and superb fish health... and without any negative impact on water quality, the ocean floor, wild fish or marine mammals."
Kampachi is a tropical yellowtail used in sushi and sashimi but can be eaten grilled or seared for people interested in eating their food not wrapped in seaweed and with a fork.
The fish housed in the pen were fed soy and alternative agricultural proteins so they were not fed fishmeal and fish oil. No antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides were used in the fishball. The first harvest came three months ahead of schedule when the fish had reached an average of 5.6 pounds. The kampachi were healthy and sample tests showed they only had a fat content of 33% and had no noticeable traces of mercury or other contaminants. The overall mortality rate in the fishball was less than 2% compared to standard aquaculture mortality rate of 15%.
According to the press release the seven month long research period was the first time fish had been raised in U.S. Federal waters. Kampachi Farms had to obtain a special research permit from NOAA to drag the fishball through the Pacific.
At the beginning of the month the project was placed on Time magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2012" list.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.